What do you do when you find out your new born child may completely go blind? One of the biggest tragedies of parenthood is watching your child suffer from ill health and not having much to do about it. Such was the case of Precious and Omosede Omagbe who got married in 2015 and welcomed their bundle of joy in 2018. “My wife and I welcomed our first fruit in May 2018, a handsome boy! We had no idea that we would be hit with an anti-climax barely 3 months after.” Precious Omagbe, a marketing executive in Lagos shared.
That fateful morning in May was scary. He (son) cried from his sleep, screaming as though in severe pains. His eyes were totally shut! Quickly, we dashed out of the house and headed for the hospital! In about four hours, we had been referred to 3 different hospitals.
The Physician advised us to take our son as a matter of emergency to the U.S or the UK for eye surgery. Ah! U.S.? UK? How? He could only prescribe pain killers since our son was in excruciating pain. As parents, the news broke our heart. There was no way we could get my son out of the country within such short notice.
3 Hospitals Later… Still No Hope
My wife and I wept bitterly driving home. No answers. No diagnosis, nothing — just us and our son going blind. When we got home, my wife administered the painkillers, we noticed the pain subsiding, so I decided to do everything possible to save my son’s eyes.
While my wife attended to our son, I picked up my phone and started to call everybody and anybody I knew in the medical field. I sent pictures and messages. After several hours, I got a feedback that an appointment had been scheduled the next day for our son to see a Pediatric Ophthalmology at another eye specialist hospital.
We met the specialist the next day; she diagnosed our son with Congenital Glaucoma or Infant Glaucoma.
According to the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS), childhood glaucoma is relatively rare. Primary congenital/ primary infantile glaucoma occurs in the general population at a rate of approximately 1 in 10,000 births. However, this rare disease affected baby Temisan Omagbe.
Our son needed surgery immediately. We raised the money for the bill amongst friends, family, and well-wishers. Thankfully, the surgery was successful!
According to medical experts, despite timely and aggressive treatment, pediatric glaucoma can still cause significant and permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis and treatment, as well as close monitoring are crucial for obtaining a long-term successful outcome. Thankfully, this was not the case for the Omagbes whose now 3-year old son is living and growing in good health.
Post surgery, a pair of medicated eyeglasses was recommended for him. During his last checkup in September 2020, few months before his third birthday, our son had fully recovered and would no longer be needing eyeglasses.
Photo credit: Precious Omagbe
Precious Omagbe is a Product Manager with Tizeti Network, an internet service provider in Lagos, Nigeria. When he is not working, he is making progress on his fitness and wellness. Omagbe is married to Omosede Oyegun and they have a son and daughter.